Growing into Springtime: 2016 Garden Fair and Home Show

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Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut

“This event has become so popular we had to move it to the Ice Arena this year,” said Kristy Kathman, Program and Administrative Coordinator for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC).

The 2016 GROW Jamestown Garden Fair and Home Show will take over the big rink at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena on Saturday, April 2, running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., once again with free admission. “It looks like it’s going to be another bumper year, even bigger and better than ever in our fifth year staging this great event,” said Greg Lindquist, JRC’s executive director.

More Vendors & DIY
“The number of vendors has practically exploded this year, from 16 to almost 60,” Kathman said. “It was not challenging at all to get last year’s gardeners and workshop leaders to come back. That’s why we outgrew our space in the JRC Building and moved to the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena. We have also increased the number of free workshops and seminars. They have become more popular every year.”

“This year we combined the Home Show and the Garden Fair. We have also added a lot of hands-on DIY workshops because that’s what people asked us for,” Kathman said. “The show is now about two thirds Garden Fair and one third workshops, plus raffles, kid’s activities, great food, even an exciting live chainsaw cutting event and much more.” The complete lineup is available at www.growjamestown.com.

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By Popular Request
“People said they loved the hands-on parts of the event last year and meeting local vendors. They were especially appreciative of the workshops,” Lindquist said.

“We have definitely taken our workshop topics to a new level from previous years,” said Mary Maxwell, JRC’s neighborhood project associate. The 15 practical and fascinating workshops, this year featuring four home improvement and 11 lawn and garden seminars, will include such topics as a Q&A session with Master Gardeners, a “Honey Do” list Q&A with a local contractor, native plant gardening, garden deer and pest control, canning your harvest, tree planting, landscaping, lead abatement and much more.

“No other event features home and garden education and hands-on activities the way we do,” said Edwin Rodriguez, JRC’s Events and Marketing Associate. Vendors scheduled to attend include nurseries, contractors, landscape designers, craft vendors, food vendors, neighborhood clusters, and more.

The Take Home
Once again, under the leadership of the event’s title sponsor, Mike Krauth, owner of Mike’s Nursery in Lakewood, each local merchant has also been encouraged to highlight something free, a gift from their own shop or service, for everyone who attends this year’s show. Mike’s Nursery staff, for example, will be giving away free tomato seedlings to every show attendee while supplies last.

Also, according to Lindquist, the first 1,000 people arriving at the event will receive a free reusable grocery tote courtesy of Wegmans in Jamestown. The event is also sponsored by Lakeshore Paving, Clark Patterson Lee Design Professionals, RSVP, Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program, The Resource Center, Rhoe B. Henderson Insurance Agency, Five Star Urgent Care, and Afloral.com.

“This is not a fundraising event for JRC,” Lindquist added. “It is designed purely as a community service, because that is our mission. We believe it is important to introduce new people to the community.”

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Unique Give and Take
One of the seminar leaders, attending the Home and Garden Show for the third time this year, Mary Rees from Dunkirk who represents the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County Master Gardener Volunteers, said, “Everybody gets something out of this. It has given me a chance to enjoy learning about local resources I didn’t know much about before. For instance, members of our local Amish and Mennonite communities who came to the show last year taught me some wonderful “new” old world practices and farming and gardening techniques.”

“I was especially interested in the raised gardening techniques, too,” Rees added. “Living in the middle of a city like Dunkirk, it is the only kind of gardening we can do.”

Contagious Pleasures
“We have noticed that when some people in a neighborhood improve their property it encourages other neighbors to do the same,” Kathman said. “It elevates entire neighborhoods when just a few people beautify their own lots.”

“A community event like this is great for not only bringing people in to learn, but to have a special experience of seeing what is possible… a fresh, new vision for springtime,” Kathman said. “They will have both the knowledge and the physical tools they need to make their own place, their home, more beautiful and enjoyable.”

Learn More
For a complete list of vendors and the complete schedule of workshops and times, visit the GROW Jamestown Garden Fair and Home Show online at www.growjamestown.com or check out the event’s Facebook page.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is a public-private partnership supporting downtown and neighborhood revitalization through stakeholder engagement, innovation and reinvestment in the greater Jamestown, New York, area.